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Women on the Way to the White House
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

The role of women in American politics has dominated this election year


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51:57 minutes (24.94 MB)
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Lisa Burns, Quinnipiac University: Photo by Chion WolfLisa Burns, Quinnipiac University: Photo by Chion WolfA new USA Today/Gallup poll has John McCain pulling ahead of Barack Obama - with his Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin closing the "enthusiasm gap."

Palin's presence on the ticket has done more than just provide a bump for the McCain campaign - it's started new national dialogues about women in politics, mothers in the workplace - and the media's attitudes toward both.

Today, Where We Live, we'll check back in with Shannon O'Brien, the former Massachusetts state treasurer, who narrowly lost a gubernatorial race to Mitt Romney in 2002.  She was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton - we'll talk to her about the rapid rise of Sarah Palin.

We'll also talk with Lisa Burns from Quinnipiac University.  Her new book is "First Ladies and the Fourth Estate." 

Join the conversation!  Add your suggestions, questions and comments below.  

Block photo by Twinkletoez

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I am a college educated working mother of three.
I have been a life long independent. I changed my status to democrat  
so I could vote for senator Clinton in the primary. Since governor  
palin has been added to the ticket I plan to vote republican. Obama  
does not have enough experience, and I'm very agrivated at the way  
senator Clinton was treated the Obama campaign.
I'm also so annoyed with the sexist treatment of both Clinton and  
palin.it was always mrs. Clinton, bit never mr. Obama. Now we are  
hearing the same with governor palin. No one would ever think of  
grilling a male candidate about his status as a working  
father...enough already!


The best response to this was on The Daily Show: Jon Stewart asked Samantha Bee why she was going to vote for McCain after supporting Hillary Clinton, saying, "But she's Clinton's ideological opposite." Samantha Bee's reply: "But she's her gynecological twin."

The joke, in case you don't get it, is that the choice of Sarah Palin was a cynical move to get women, espeically those who supported Hillary Clinton, to support McCain. But that women are not that stupid.

So are you that stupid? Do you care only that Palin is a woman or are you concerned with issues that affect women, such as the right to choose whether or not we carry a baby, equal pay for equal work, childcare, access to birth control, family leave? If you care about issues rather than what gender your candidate happens to be, perhaps you ought to, at the very least, find out what McCain and Palin are proposing.... even though they're doing everything they can to distract you from the issues.

email to [email protected]

I think Gov Palin is treated quite fairly by the media. She has such a thin record, and what exists seems to contradict what she says. Is she really against corruption and earmarks? Why is she so close to Ted Stevens? Is she only against corruption and earmarks when that's the easy thing to do?

As for her family -- it really doesn't matter, unless she is trying to have it both ways -- she can't be a supermom and a great VP. She'll have to chose. I'm fine with her picking her career over being a great mom.

The bigger problem is that we have no idea where she falls on the issues. Is she for full funding of IDEA which would help struggling school systems meet the needs of special kids, like her son Trig. How does she feel about free contraceptives for teenage girls?  How would she reform schools to boost our students performance?  How about global warming, does she believe it's real?

What would she actually do? I'm really unconvinced at this point.

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I listened with great interest to your call in show this morning. I became a bit confused when a gentleman called in expressing support of Mrs. Palin. Your guest asked this man how inexperience would be beneficial in an executive role. That was not what this caller said.
Please re-play the tape and listen, he stated her lack of Washington ties and alliance with special interests would be beneficial. Your guest purred appreciatively with each caller who agreed with her political views, yet she openly challenged this man and unfairly misstated his position. Are you supposing this is jounalism or open mike?
Please explain to any of us who will listen what executive experience Mr. Obama possesses. Please tell us what bills he has authored, and a dollar amount of earmarked funds accepted during his last two years. 
I did not re-new my financial support this year, because quite frankly the journalistic integrity of your organization is seeming suspect.
Ruth Schleifer, M.D

I think Ms. Palin and all

I think Ms. Palin and all the talk about her and whether she is appropriate and her background is a thought out diversion by the McCain group to keep the media and voters diverted from real issues facing the United States.

I also feel the integrity of the journalism is right on fair.

Thank you

Bill Dietrich, LCSW